The I.M.P.A.C.T. of a Safety Plan

Issue 6 and Volume 156.

By William Shouldis Lately, you can hardly read a fire service publication without the mention of a serious injury or fatality. It is not surprising that most after-action reports stress the importance of a risk assessment policy—a procedure that is practiced by everyone at an incident scene. Personal safety must become part of the thought process of every firefighter, paramedic, and emergency worker. Res-ponders will always be challenged by numerous variables at any operation. The impact factor must be life safety. On July 4, 2002, in the small town of Gloucester City, New Jersey, there were many surprises—mainly that firefighters and civilians were killed in a dwelling fire. The initial “size-up” report indicated that three children were trapped inside a burning semiattached frame dwelling. Career and volunteer members worked together. Fire chiefs, company officers, and firefighters mounted an offensive attack when, suddenly, the three-story structure failed. The intense fire weakened…

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